Viewing cable 06VILNIUS137
Title: PDAS VOLKER MEETS WITH LITHUANIA'S FOREIGN POLICY

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
06VILNIUS1372006-02-10 16:47:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Vilnius
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 VILNIUS 000137 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/NB AND EUR/UMB 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/09/2015 
TAGS: PREL PHUM EAID PGOV BO UP LH
SUBJECT: PDAS VOLKER MEETS WITH LITHUANIA'S FOREIGN POLICY 
ARCHITECT 
 
REF: VILNIUS 102 
 
Classified By: Political/Economic Officer Alexander Titolo for reasons 
1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
SUMMARY 
------- 
 
¶1.  (C) EUR PDAS Kurt Volker and Ambassador discussed 
regional issues February 8 with MFA Undersecretary Albinas 
Januska, Lithuania's chief foreign policy strategist. 
Januska provided a readout of a "difficult conversation" 
between GOL FM Valionis and Ukrainian FM Tarasyuk in which 
Valionis urged increased transparency about the 
Russian-Ukrainian gas deal.  Januska apologized for 
Lithuanian Prime Minister Brazauskas's endorsement of Social 
Democrat Alexander Kozulin in Belarus's upcoming elections. 
He also reiterated longstanding GOL concerns about Russia's 
attempts to influence Lithuanian politics through media 
manipulation -- citing the regional anti-NGO campaign and 
(much more implausibly) the anti-Islamic cartoons as 
examples.  The meeting highlighted the nervousness (verging 
on paranoia) of GOL officials about their rough neighborhood. 
 End Summary. 
 
 
UNHELPFUL RUSSIA 
---------------- 
 
¶2.  (C) Januska launched into the meeting with PDAS Volker 
by noting Lithuanian concern about suspected Russian efforts 
to set back democratization efforts in the region.  He said 
such efforts, according to one local academic, could even 
include a role in fanning greater controversy around the 
Mohammed cartoons by supporting their publication in the 
local Lithuanian press.  The Under Secretary said that this 
experience shows how vulnerable Lithuania is to outside 
influence, and noted that the GOL is preparing a strategy in 
Lithuania to counter these tactics. 
 
¶3.  (C) PDAS Volker said that while there is general 
agreement that developments within Russia and in Russian 
foreign policy were disturbing, the USG believes a public 
confrontation with the Kremlin would be counterproductive. 
He stressed that we must find other ways to support change in 
Russia, including through NGOs.  Januska accepted this point, 
but reiterated that "Russia is doing everything possible to 
discredit us." 
 
GOL SHARES CONCERNS ON UKRAINE 
------------------------------ 
 
¶4.  (C) Januska reviewed a recent phone conversation between 
GOL FM Valionis and his Ukrainian counterpart in which 
Valionis stressed to Tarasyuk that "if you want to be 
pro-European, you have to be transparent."  Tarasyuk, Januska 
said, essentially responded that there was nothing he could 
do about the deal.  The Lithuanian official described the 
conversation as "difficult" and lamented the tough position 
the Ukrainian FM is in.  PDAS Volker underscored the need to 
push for a better understanding of the gas deal. 
 
MORE HEARTACHE ON BELARUS 
------------------------- 
 
¶5.  (C) Januksa offered an explanation for the PM's 
endorsement of Kozulin (reftel), claiming that the 
Belarusian's trip to Lithuania was the result of an 
invitation from the Foreign Ministry.  Januska explained that 
the purpose of the MFA's invitation was to convince Kozulin 
to withdraw from the race in protest if the Central Election 
Committee does not certify United Opposition candidate 
Alexander Milinkevich.  Januska had set up meetings for 
Kozulin with the Lithuanian Social Democratic Party as cover 
for the ministry.  Unfortunately, Januska explained, this put 
Kozulin directly in the path of the PM, who chose to endorse 
his sister party's candidate.  Januska also laid out for PDAS 
Volker the GOL's position that Lithuania will not accept the 
undemocratic incorporation of Belarus into Russia -- which 
many in the Lithuanian political circle consider a live 
possibility. 
 
¶6.  (C) The Ambassador raised the issue of the registration 
by the GOL of European Humanities University International 
(EHU), an independent Belarusian educational institution 
currently in exile in Vilnius.  EHU officials and media have 
detailed the internal disagreements within the GOL about 
accrediting the University-in-exile, a requirement for it to 
be able to grant diplomas of any value in Europe.  Januska 
predicted the government will accredit the institution in the 
coming week. 
 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
¶7.  (C) PDAS Volker's meeting with Undersecretary Januska put 
Lithuanian anxieties about regional issues on full display. 
With elections in Ukraine and Belarus coming next month, and 
the significant potential for setbacks to Lithuania's 
strategic interests in both countries, GOL officials are 
increasingly relying for comfort on their favorite conspiracy 
theory: that all bad things in Eastern Europe flow from the 
Kremlin.  We will help them harness their enthusiasm for 
promoting democracy in the region as this crucial next phase 
in Belarus and Ukraine approaches. 
 
¶8.  (U) PDAS Volker did not have an opportunity to clear this 
cable. 
MULL